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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Boring routine at the moment so going with a World Cup Theme

    So I haven't followed a theme for close to a year due to the ups and downs of my group and quite frankly I am bored to tears so I thought with the world cup it would be a great theme to start with.

    My group consists of...

    a 34mth old boy who loves to do anything and is very good at following direction,

    a 21mth old boy who is hard work to say the least....will cry at the drop of a hat if I look at him funny, take a stern tone at any of the kids or require him to do something independently such as come to me or get something. He is not like this at home but I know from videos his parents have sent me and from interaction at the door and conversations with his parents and grandparents that he is a kid who is entertained and played with constantly and babied too much and I think the group setting is hard for him when he is not 1 on 1...so this boy has no initiative and even with loads of encouragement is hard work to even get some kind of reaction out of. I would get more of a response from a brick wall most days.

    I have 2 16 month old boys. One is my AP child who does like to get involved, and the other boy likes to watch but then when its his turn he is always in floods of tears as he realizes that what I am passing around isn't in fact food lol

    The mood of the group is always all over the place and this is really why I haven't been able to do anything. I am lucky if free play goes without a hitch. My AP child causes huge disruptions in the group crying forever at drop off and setting the other 16mth old off and then the 21 month old starts crying. It is almost daily and while I have learnt some strategies to deal with it so the day isn't a total write off, it really does prevent a whole lot of structured themed activities from happening.

    Well enough is enough, I have completely exhausted my sensory tubs, and I have LOTS of them and also with reoccurring colds the last two weeks I haven't been able to use them because of the sneezing and constant runny noses. Free play has been our running trend with daily or every other day walks in the stroller. The two 16 month olds still regularly need their morning nap, the AP kid goes for a morning nap on a regular basis because he causes such an uproar and is asleep within 5 minutes so is obviously tired too...and there is usually a good reason for him not sleeping at night, namely his mother.

    Anywho, while the boys aren't bored of free play I am totally done with it. I am so bored I can't even begin to explain so I am going to try my best to get back into theme mode. The World Cup lasts for a number of weeks so I think the consistency will be helpful in trying to get over what I anticipate a difficult first couple of weeks for the younger three to adjust to and then enjoy. I then hope to continute with structured themes after this and hope that they will have adapted and take part without issue.

    I have actually found quite a few resources for this theme for preschoolers so that's great for my nearly 3 yr olds dcb and the younger ones can do some of the easier things.

    I have printed all the flags, laminated them and put them on a ring, kind of like flashcards. We will focus on colours, and the first letter of the country names.

    I am also going to laminate flags and duplicate them. 1 set will be stuck to a board with Velcro tabs on the front so the other set can be matched to each one.

    I'm going to do printables of each flag to colour in coinciding with the weeks soccer matches and I am going to try and come up with some simple activities that complement some of the countries.

    I'm going to do some more planning tonight including downloading some native music from the countries. I have never done this theme before so I'm hoping that not only will it be fun for the kids but that it will also zap some life back into me.

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  3. #2
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    Wow sounds great !!! I love the flag idea !!! That sound very interesting !! We are doing a unit on bugs lol !! Today made huge black ants out of poster paper !!! And did an experiment with 3 different things to eat , we left them outside to see if ants might nibble them lol !!
    I admire anyone with younger dcks , I only have one 15 month old the rest 2.5 and up !! And she is good but it's so hard to explain what we are doing !! Today she ate a piece of the strawberry we left on the ground !! And the other dcks were horrified !! Lol
    After nap (2 min) we will check outside and then we are drawing a huge pic of a picnic blanket and labelling the food the ants snacked on lol !!!

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  5. #3
    Euphoric !
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    Brightsparks, are you putting too much pressure on yourself? I run weekly themes because it gives me an opportunity to teach the children something new and important every week. My craft of the week (yes, just one!), books, songs and games all match the theme. But I don't oversell it, just a day or two is spent on it. The rest of the week we play, inside and outside and we are on the go - 2-3 parks/week, the library, playgroups - and my group is 3 and under. I have wanderlust, ha! But we deal with toddlers and their job is to play. We don't have to constantly entertain them.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

  6. #4
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momof4 View Post
    Brightsparks, are you putting too much pressure on yourself? I run weekly themes because it gives me an opportunity to teach the children something new and important every week. My craft of the week (yes, just one!), books, songs and games all match the theme. But I don't oversell it, just a day or two is spent on it. The rest of the week we play, inside and outside and we are on the go - 2-3 parks/week, the library, playgroups - and my group is 3 and under. I have wanderlust, ha! But we deal with toddlers and their job is to play. We don't have to constantly entertain them.
    Oh I hear you. I am not putting pressure on myself. Even with an older group I would only do crafts once a week tops except at Xmas but considering we have done less than a handful in the past year, and I am an extremely crafty person, I'm going a bit nuts. Its not even so much the crafts that I'm missing because really they aren't essential and the kids can still have great experiences with sensory tubs, treasure baskets and malleable play its just simply that I am bored out of my mind with the group right now. With their temperamental moods and sleep routines its just hard to ever do anything. This is going to be good for me. Something to focus on more and make MY day more varied even if the kids don't really care.

  7. #5
    Euphoric !
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    That sounds like a fun theme and sounds like you have a lot planned to keep them entertained and interested in it!

    I started to do monthly themes but am going to take the summer months off. I don't do crafts often but we do art a lot throughout the week but even that only takes 10-20 minutes.
    Last edited by 5 Little Monkeys; 06-10-2014 at 07:57 PM.

  8. #6
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    Hmmm , that's good advice ! 5lm I'm doing a monthly unit broken down into weekly , I usually do a craft every day ! Maybe I should cut back too !! We do play a lot too ! I'm not sure what to do with summer , I never even thought of not doing a theme for summer !

  9. #7
    Euphoric !
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    We do art daily in the winter (sometimes twice a day!) and when I had an older child. I cut it back during summer because we are outside 3-4 hours and I just don't find the time. Some days we will stay in during the afternoon if it's too hot and will do an art or play doh.

    I only started doing the monthly themes when I had the older child. She was intellectually way beyond her age and would get bored with all the "babies"...I found the themes and lots of art kept her busy and kept some of her bad behaviours at bay! I've only done themes for maybe 8-10 months?

    In the summer I want to be more relaxed and we spend so much time on walks, at different parks and at the splash park. I don't think I'd have time (or energy) to spend quality time on a theme. Thankfully all my kids are too young to notice it's absence lol.

  10. #8
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    I put my themes on hold by the end of May and won't resume until some time in September. My theme right now is "Let's go out and play!" LOL! We have been spending 3 or 4 hours a day outside too, so no time for anything else.

  11. #9
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I don't do themes over the summer either. We are outside pretty much all day in some capacity. Either walking, at the park or in the back yard. I can however take on bigger activities in the summer as my kids are home. Annually I gate off and tape off my kitchen and stick packing paper to the ground and put the kids in vests and give them plates of paint and let them go for it. Loads of fun. In my new house the floor is ceramic which is hard to clean so no longer something I do. I'm going to get a big piece of plastic perspex and make a solid and sturdy stand for it. It's going in the garden and the kids can paint it, clean it, soap it, chalk it, mud it....looking. forward to that exciting addition.

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    That sounds fun!

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